“Honey, come look,” my husband said with a bright look in his eyes. Curious, I followed his into a back room. Just outside the window were five deer eating corn off the ground. He grinned broadly, and I knew he was satisfied with his new project, feeding the deer. He had purchased a sack of corn from the local Tractor Supply store a couple of days ago, and had spread it across the backyard outside his window. He also fed the birds and the one squirrel who lives there.
All the deer were does, three adults and a set of twins. I was glad to see the twins. I had been looking for a new set further down our road for some time now, and was worried the mother might have been shot. For several years now she has had twins each year. There they were with their little fluffy tails, but she had not fared so well. She has an injured foot. I have been seeing her out in the field holding up her front leg and shaking it like it hurt, but it hasn’t stopped her from getting around and even running on three legs. Today, she actually stepped on it occasionally. Hopefully, it is getting well, or at least less of a problem to her.
She kept pawing and kicking at her twins, I guess to keep them from nursing. They are pretty big now; they must have been born earlier in the year. It’s time for them to be independent.
I won’t let anyone hunt on my fifteen acres. It has a stock tank (a Texas term for a pond), but doesn’t have very much in the way of brush or trees in which to hide.
My sister reports that her mother hen (Chicken Coop Crisis blog) is pecking at the baby chicks. They keep wanting to get under her wings, but she doesn’t want any part of it. They are all feathered out now and can withstand the cold weather with the help of a light bulb in their pen. I guess the mother hen thinks it’s time to wean them off from her since she has laid eggs for the last four days. Life goes on.
The deer and the hen caused me to think how we, as parents, must nudge our offspring out the door. It usually takes a lot longer, and may involve a wrecked car and worried nights to get it done. We need some internal compass to tell us when it is time, and many of us have a hard time letting go. We must remember God loaned them to us for a season, but we must trust Him to walk on with them as adults.